“Should I Stay with School Therapy or Should I go Private?”

Alot of parents are asking themselves this question at some point during their child’s speech therapy care. Parents may struggle to see progress with school speech therapy, Yet, going to a Private Practice entails an increased cost when compared with school-based therapy.


Both a Private Speech-Language Pathologist and a School Based Speech Pathologist who are “CCC-SLP Certified” have the same level of educational training after all, so how can there be a difference in services?

Here’s why: The school SLP must work under the confines of her school district’s regulations. Due to the intense need for speech & language services at school, the Speech-Pathologist practicing in a Public School typically faces an ever-increasing set of demands during the school year; thus she’s presented with an expanded scope of practice. School SLP workload responsibilities include:

School SLP Workload Activities

Therapy Timeline

By law, in Massachusetts, once the public school has received parental consent, the school has 30 working days to perform an Evaluation. Once the testing is complete, a team meeting must be scheduled within 45 school working days.

Time-Out. 75 Days? That’s a substantial period of ‘waiting’ time in a child’s academic school year.

In a private setting, an evaluation is typically scheduled within 1 week. The report is then produced in 7-10 days and therapy often begins the week after the evaluation.

Eligibility & Qualification

Your child needs to meet state issued eligibility standards to qualify for speech/language services in the Public Schools. In Massachusetts, “To be eligible for special education services, a student must first be found to have a disability which is causal to an inability to make effective progress in school.”

In a Private Setting, your child does not need to be ‘eligible’ for our services. A parent calls with concern and we arrange for an Evaluation during a preferred time in your schedule.

The Evaluation Process

In a school-based testing situation, the SLP is confined to measuring performance solely based on standardized test results.

A private evaluation entails standardized testing (like in the schools), yet the Private Therapist has the discretion to include her Clinical Impressions. She has the ability to consider that your child may have had an off-day, or that he can exhibit a particular skill in play, but not during testing. You can also weigh in with your thoughts on your child’s performance, as chances are, you’re in the room.

With your parental consent, the private SLP can share her immediate impressions of your child’s evaluation results upon completion of the evaluation.

Therapeutic Environment

We all know that kids make progress when they are engaged and having fun. In a child- therapy situation one of the keys to success is the clinical environment. Do you know where your child’s school-therapy takes place? A hallway? A noisy classroom? An office? Background noise is distracting.

Chatterboxes offers quality Speech-Language & Occupational Therapy in Boston, MA. We also offer flexible service options for your family. Call us today at 617-969-8255 or visit us at 121 Mt Vernon St, Boston, MA 02108.